DMC targets vascular and tumour cells

21 Apr 2009

2.5-dimethyl-celecoxib exerts antiangiogenic effects on the tumour vasculature

The compound 2.5-dimethyl-celecoxib appears to exert strong anti-tumour and anti-angiogenic effects without the side effects normally associated with Cox-2 inhibitors, according to research conducted at the University of Southern California and presented at the AACR Annual Meeting in Denver.

"This drug targets both the vasculature and the tumour cells, and it is not a Cox-2 inhibitor, so it could be given as a long-term therapy without side effects," said Prof. Florence M. Hofman, professor of pathology at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine. 

The researchers observed the effects of dimethyl-celecoxib (DMC) in brain cancer, but Hofman said the agent could work in different solid tumours that are dependent on the blood supply for growth. 

"This drug would be particularly useful for metastatic cancer to the brain, including breast cancer, which is a huge problem," she said. 

Hofman and colleagues isolated endothelial cells from human nonmalignant brain and glioma tissues and then treated them with DMC to test for functional activity. They found that DMC suppressed endothelial cell proliferation and migration. 

Treatment with this drug in animal studies showed smaller tumours and fewer blood vessels in the tumours, with a 35 to 45 per cent reduction in microdensity. This is important because tumours need a growing vasculature, or blood supply, in order to grow.